Assessment


All assessed work is marked by two members of staff, known as the 'first' and 'second examiners' or, collectively, as 'internal examiners'. In addition, the College, on behalf of the MARS Degree Tutor, appoints an 'external examiner' to the MARS MA. The 'external examiner' comes from another university and has various duties specific to the degree. He or she approves dissertation titles, reviews the marking process and scrutinises a selection of assessed course work and dissertations. The purpose of the external examiner is to ensure that the internal examiners of the various courses and dissertations mark to a consistent standard and that the standards of the award are comparable with those of other UK universities. The external examiner also provides feedback to the College on the conduct of the assessment process.The internal and external examiners constitute the Board of Examiners, which meets in late October or early November to decide the final awards.

Internal examiners mark MARS MA student's assessed course work according to the same criteria as they mark the work of students on other MAs. The examination board of each course's home department confirms the agreed marks for all students on the course and relays the confirmed marks of MARS students to the MARS Board of Examiners.

To obtain a Pass at MA level (i.e. a mark of 50 or above) a piece of work must indicate:

  • a grasp of the scholarship on the topic
  • an appreciation of the different approaches which might be adopted
  • an awareness of the meanings of concepts and categories used by scholars
  • an understanding of the the structure and genre of the sources used or texts analysed
  • an ability to structure an essay in a logical, coherent and grammatical manner
  • and, in the case of the dissertation, a knowledge of relevant primary sources and the ability to frame and explore a significant problem relating to the period.


To obtain a Distinction at MA level (i.e. a mark of 70 or above) a piece of work must indicate:

  • a critical grasp of the scholarship on the topic
  • an ability to select between the different approaches which might be adopted
  • an understanding and critical assessment of the concepts and categories used by scholars
  • a detailed and critical understanding of the structure and genre of the sources used or texts analysed.
  • an ability to structure an essay in a logical, coherent and grammatical manner
  • and, in the case of the dissertation, a knowledge of relevant primary sources and the ability to frame and explore a historical problem in a critical manner.


Each piece of work may be submitted only once.

Page last modified on 09 jul 13 11:51